Barely eight, already you are entering
that neverland where young girls wander,
lost, for years, at war with mothers
and themselves. “This can’t be happening
yet,” I protest to doctors, teachers,
mothers of your friends, who say it probably
is. Those goddamned growth hormones
they’re feeding cattle, one suggests, more
cheerfully than not. They’re all maturing
earlier- why, mine wears a bigger shoe than
I do, and she’s only nine.
I’m not prepared for this.Your head has
topped my chin; you barricade yourself
inside your room, complain of us in your
diary, sob at imagined slights; and yet
you’re reading Robin Hood and Oz and Narnia.
Snickering when you see your parents kiss,
in love only with dogs and your own humor.
If I am caught unready, what of you, as you
ricochet between the little girl I have begun
to miss already, and the stranger I will someday
love, who stares at me now from my child’s eyes,
plotting her ascension.